OTT Video News, Deals, Launches and Products

Rethink Technology Research

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Distributed network architecture supplier Streamroot has formed a product integration with digital video technology firm castLabs, creating compatibility between Streamroot DNA and Prestoplay, castLabs’ suite of player SDKs which includes an HTML5 player for browsers, plus SDKs for Android, iOS and desktop apps. The duo say the benefit to OTT video providers is easy deployment, unrivaled CDN offload, cost reduction, improved QoS and increased delivery capacity during peak traffic.
UK regulator Ofcom has issued a statement on measures for increasing full fiber broadband network investments. Ofcom has ordered BT to make its telegraph poles and underground tunnels open to rival providers. Ofcom has also decided not to regulate the prices of Openreach’s fastest wholesale superfast broadband, while cutting the price Openreach can charge telecoms companies for its entry-level superfast broadband.
Conferencing software company Polycom has been acquired by headset maker Plantronics for $2 billion, from private equity firm Siris Capital. Polycom has a reputation for selling very expensive teleconferencing technologies, at a time in the market when software-only systems in the cloud and faster broadband services are disrupting Polycom’s business.
Arris has equipped Danish pay TV and internet operator Stofa with Remote-PHY networking products, to re-engineer the network for Gigabit speeds. In doing so, Stofa becomes one of Europe’s first operators to upgrade using the R-PHY networking specification. Arris supplied its E6000 CCAP Core and NC2000 R-PHY optical nodes, enabling Stofa to virtualize headend functions.
Video platform JW Player and app developer Float Left announced a partnership integrating JW Player’s video delivery and intelligence technology to allow Float Left to offer back end delivery and analytics services to complement its front end assets, plus added scalability. Float Left customers include NBC SportsViacom and Crackle.
Dutch software outfit 24i Media, another app developer, has acquired multiscreen video platform provider Vigour, also based in the Netherlands, for an undisclosed fee. 24i Media plans to expand its market share in the business of supplying a module-based technology framework to broadcasters, operators and media companies, for building personalized streaming services.
Content protection company Conax has landed a deployment at Uruguayan pay TV operator Montecable for its Conax Go Live OTT multiscreen product. Montecable’s TV Everywhere offering MC Go Live, which launched in December 2017 as a free added extra for HD package subscribers, now benefits from Conax Go’s content management system, analytics and white-label apps, as well as the Contego security platform handling both CAS and multi-DRM management from one backend.
OTT data management outfit Tru Optik is preparing to add TiVo’s deterministic, linear TV viewership data to its advertising platform. Tru Optik will make the data, which reaches more than 2 million households, to customers of its OTT Marketing Cloud products, used by brands, agencies and publishers to build audience-based campaigns across OTT and connected TV devices. Advertisers will also be able to re-target linear TV ads to the same households on connected TVs.
The European Union will receive new content portability rules at the start of April, letting users of online audiovisual services access content outside of their home country. Providers of free-to-view services may opt in, but the rules relate to paid services only. The European Commission expects 5.7% of EU consumers to use services overseas, projecting content portability usage to double over the next two years.
The rise of OTT video in developed countries, increased backhaul discounts and decreased focus on duration of lease contract periods are three key changes to price drivers for satellite operators over the past two years, according to Northern Sky Research’s Satellite Capacity Pricing Index 4th Edition. Capacity prices have fallen between 30% to 60% across most verticals in recent years and NSR predicts aggressive future price declines, indicating the need to counter the over reliance on FSS capacity. The report concludes that long-term sustainability hinges on integration of IP for video, ground equipment for broadband and mobility, retail play via own satellites to save opex, or consolidation to create scale.
Nokia has added new capabilities to its Cognitive Analytics for Customer Insight software, including machine learning and deep learning algorithms, co-developed with Nokia Bell Labs, to provide new levels of prediction and automation capabilities for improving the subscriber experience. “The algorithms optimize themselves over time, decreasing the time required for the initial tuning of the index from months to days, and delivering a far more accurate view of subscriber satisfaction. As a result, service providers can take actions based on Customer Experience Index insights and predictions six times faster to address service issues,” said Nokia.
French native ad platform AdYouLike has purchased Pulpix, a recommendation engine provider for brands and publishers – claiming to use AI and real-time analytics to power content recommendations. The three-year old startup has generated higher engagement and grown revenues for RTL GroupL’EquipePrisma Media and Bonnier.
Mobile TV broadcast equipment maker TVU Networks will be showcasing Panasonic cameras using its TVU Grid with IP video switching, routing and distribution at NAB. The integration between Panasonic AJ-PX270 P2 cameras and TVU Transceivers enables streaming from a P2 camera directly to a TVU Transceiver via cellular, WiFi or ethernet connection.
The Alliance for Open Media has finally released version 1.0 of its royalty-free codec AV1, claiming 30% bitrate efficiency over VP9 and HEVC and 65% bandwidth savings over AVC. Desktop browsers will begin supporting AV1 later this year, shifting to games consoles and other streaming devices from the end of 2018 into early 2019.
Google has begun linking Android users browsing the Google Play Movies and TV app to 28 third party OTT video apps including those from AmazonHBOHuluCBSDisneyFox and NBC, but not Netflix. Google insists it is not charging these companies for the privilege.
Comcast will lose 400,000 pay TV subscribers this year, according to UBS analyst John Hodulik, inflating his previous projection of 320,000.
YouTube TV has inked a deal with NBA to have the championship series, taking place in June, branded as The Finals Presented by YouTube TV.